Oh the Proverbs 31 woman! She is as loved by many as she is loathed by some. Being an idealist, I’ve always had an affinity for this chunk of scripture. I’ve read it in every translation, looked up meanings of words in Hebrew, chased down other Biblical references and truly set my heart upon the notion of being a Proverbs 31 woman.
One of my favorite Bible study tools are lists. I’ve listed out the names of God, the character attributes of Christ, and of course, the character traits and skills of this incredible woman. Here are a several items from that list. We know that the Proverbs 31 woman is:
- An Early-riser
I don’t know about you, but that list leaves me both excited and quaking in my boots.
How can one woman be so many things? And if she lived TODAY, would it even be possible? Most of us don’t have servants to delegate to. And it only mentions that her children praise her– It doesn’t speak to her SPECIFICALLY spending time with them or to their education.
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“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
(v26) If there’s any verse in this chapter that speaks to a heart for instruction, I believe it’s this one. While we aren’t informed of the age of the Proverbs 31 Woman (or her children), we can see that the “teaching of kindness” is on her tongue, and she speaks with wisdom.
While we can often focus more on knowledge than wisdom, as homeschool moms we know that our PRIMARY responsibility is to train and support our children to grow in WISDOM (as well as knowledge) and kindness into productive, intelligent, Jesus-loving citizens one day. It looks like that might have been a priority for the P31W, too!
“She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.”
(18) A quick read through this chapter leaves us with the strong impression that this woman is exceptionally entrepreneurial. She seeks material and creates things, making additional to sell at market. She notices investment opportunities and weighs her priorities before investing (to turn a profit). She’s exceptionally hardworking, and she doesn’t allow the dark of night to stop her faithful work.
I don’t know a single homeschool mom, especially those who blog, who don’t spend many a late night preparing work for her children, learning how to instruct them diligently, or creating rich content to bless other homeschool moms with what they’ve learned. Even if you don’t have a specific income-earning “side hustle” like P31W, as a homeschool Mom, home education IS YOUR JOB. You are investing, creating, growing, and training your little ones, often well into the night, always looking for new opportunities to expand your “business” of training up disciples.
“She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.”
Raise your hand if you have a maid? Yeah, me neither. And if I did, it would be a monthly or biweekly service. Most of us don’t have the luxury to employee full time staff. However, looking at this through a modern lense, we can see this as preparation and delegation. Whether we meal-prep each month, plan out the week of assignments late on Sunday night, or delegate housework to our kids–we are planning, preparing, and apportioning tasks out so that we can have all of our ducks in a row to walk through our days and weeks efficiently. And many moms who work from home in the blogging field use guardian angels called “virtual assistants” to fill in gaps we are facing in time or skill. We are better together, working as a team, and we reflect the heart of the P31W when we do so!
“Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!”
(25) She rejoices over the future and is ruled over, not by fear, but fearlessness except for her fear of God. What an encouragement this perspective can have on our own lives, to let go of the hustling we often feel like we have to double-fist and allow the grace of God to work through our work. The P31W didn’t work, then worry about whether it would turn out OK, if her children would be “smart enough”, or if she would be profitable. She worked in all areas of her life, according to her reverent fear of a sovereign and perfect God, with a spirit of excellence and overwhelming virtue, then she allowed God to bless it, bless her family, and be her rock no matter what life threw her way.